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Anime critic thinks Miyazaki may be unable to fill Ghibli talent void quickly enough for new film

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

When legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki recently announced that he would be coming out of retirement to make another theatrical film, anime enthusiasts around the world were ecstatic. More experienced fans, though, might not have been all too surprised.

Sure, Miyazaki had said that he was done making feature films after finishing "The Wind Rises" in 2013. He’d said the same thing after "Princess Mononoke" in 1997, though, and four years later he was back with "Spirited Away," the first of four post-Mononoke theatrical anime he’s made so far.

So perhaps more unusual than Miyazaki’s settling into the director’s chair again is the fact that Studio Ghibli, the production house Miyazaki co-founded, is starting a recruiting push to hire new animators and artists. While much work in the anime industry is on a per-project basis, Ghibli has long been famous for offering loner-term employment for its staff members, which seems like it should preclude the need for such a hiring push.

However, following the release of Ghibli’s "When Marnie Was There" in 2014, it was looking like the studio itself was done with feature-length animation. In the time since, Japan’s Livedoor News reports that Studio Ghibli has dismissed nearly 200 animators.

According to Livedoor’s source, an unnamed film industry writer well-informed on anime matters, many of these dismissed animators are now working for Studio Ponoc, which was founded by Yoshiaki Nishimura, a producer who worked on Ghibli’s "Howl’s Moving Castle," "The Tale of Princess Kaguya" and "When Marnie Was There." Ponoc’s current high-profile project is "Mary and the Witch’s Flower," which is being directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who previously directed "Marnie" and "The Secret World of Arrietty for Ghibli."

Below is the trailer for "Mary and the Witch’s Flower."

The writer says that Ghibli may not be able to lure all of these animators back to work on Miyazaki’s new film, which could explain why Ghibli is essentially holding open auditions by specifically mentioning in its want ad that that no prior animation industry experience is required.

Still, this is Miyazaki we’re talking about here. Whether they’re people he’s worked with before or not, there’s no doubt that talented artists will be eager to be part of what’s being billed as the final film for anime’s most celebrated creator. Presently, Ghibli says its new animators will start in earnest in October and work for a period of three years. Livedoor’s source, though, predicts that assembling a crew with the sufficient talents to bring Miyazaki’s vision to the screen will take more time than the studio has estimated, and that we might have to wait longer than the projected three years until we finally get to see it.

Source: Livedoor News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Ghibli producer provokes backlash for comment regarding abilities of women to direct anime

-- Hayao Miyazaki spends retirement from anime by…spending every day at his animation studio

-- Studio Ghibli is not Studio Goro – Hayao Miyazaki’s son denies being his father’s successor

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I saw one of the job ads for background artists and animators and I can see why: monthly salary is 200,000 including overtime. This is probably before employment insurance, health insurance, etc. I'd love to work at Ghibli, but for this salary and in Tokyo? Not possible.

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We're just hoping he lives long enough to finish it

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Why do they read it "jibly?" "Gh" is a hard "g" as in "spaghetti," "ghee," "gherkin" and "ghetto."

It's not "spajetti," is it?

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The broom and the cat look familiar. Is this supposed to be Kiki's Delivery Service 2?

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Mary and the Witches Flower, an adaptation from a children's novel, is produced by a new production company Studio Ponoc, from many of Ghibli's former animators, directors, and execs. Like Many Studio Ghibli Movies, there are "riffs", easter eggs, and other kinds of connections between films.

It's easy to make connections from this trailer to scenes, plots, color schemes to Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle, On Your Mark (music video), Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea, and Spirited Away. The giant cloud in the sky is also like scenes in Castle in the Sky.

I think there are may be one or two reasons for the transition.

I think H. Miyazaki has gotten stingier as he aged. Ghibli started adapting a lot children's lit in recant years with less "original" work (Tales of Earth Sea, When Marnie was There, Arietty is based on The Barrowers, Howl's Moving Castle). One could argue this might be one basis for the divide and that adapting Children's lit might be more appealing internationally, where maybe Miyazaki wants to remain more traditional, outside of his age also making it harder to produce work at a faster rate. Then perhaps the location of Ghibli is also very expensive and it's too much to be able to afford it and the animators needed--- and perhaps Ponoc's studio location is cheaper? There was also reports that Miyazake was a bit blatant about not hiring woman animators--again holding onto old ways? Granted I do not know what Ponoc's stasis is/will be one this, but these are all good things to think about IMO.

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Atari May 30  12:24 pm JST I saw one of the job ads for background artists and animators and I can see why: monthly salary is 200,000 including overtime. This is probably before employment insurance, health insurance, etc. I'd love to work at Ghibli, but for this salary and in Tokyo? Not possible.

I wonder what other studios pay and how much of the business is now dominated by CGI. The Simpsons has been drawn in S. Korea for more than 20 years due to animation costs in the U.S. and I believe it is still drawn rather than done by computer.

There may still be a cache to working for Miyazaki and being able to include that on one's resume seen as a plus.

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Animators can earn well but assistant/inbetweeners don't earn well

My wife was a Manga artist & animator 2D/3D.

Many anime series have also been done in Korea or China for years.

Most studios are small. Prodyction I.G. uses many foreigners

Ghibli chsmged focus less Anime and chararcter crestion more CGI/SFX and similar.

Both Ghibli and J.C.Staff, etc really now create mosty on PC.(animation, colouring) and CGI. Got access to a few Studios.

Hope.Hayao & Suzuki can keep going but are not the youngest anynore.

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I was wondering that too, @Jeff Huffman! But as an illustrator, it's always "let's pay you very little or nothing at all for great exposure"... If they provided some kind of rent discount, I'd go for it!

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